View Full Version : Build Your Library and Brave Writer

09-02-2016, 08:43 PM
Can someone explain to me the difference in what Brave Writer would offer in the way of writing compared to that of how Build Your Library does? Does Brave Writer offer more than copy work? It's hard for me to tell, not having BW.

09-02-2016, 09:06 PM
Bravewriter is a philosophy or lifestyle more than a curriculum. You drink the kool-aid, and see things differently.
I havent used BYL yet, but I think they are compatible philosphically. No arbitrary lessons, and everything is related and relavent.
BW isnt very compatible with worksheet based curriculums, or things that give spelling lists and arbitrary grammer lessons.

Doing a daily bit of copywork is a part of the BW lifestyle; If you buy one of her companion supplements to a novel you read, it will have 4 copyworks, relevant spelling and grammar, some literary discussion, and a few fun projects inspired by the book.
Download one of her Arrows... I think James and the GIant Peach and Charlottes Web are both free. Each book is meant to take 4 weeks, the other days each week you have different writing activities - copywork or otherwise.

09-02-2016, 09:32 PM
I haven't done BYL, but my impression is that it will be copywork and structured writing assignments. In general, BYL is all laid out. Do this this day, do that the next day, read this, then that, ask these questions, etc. Which is not a dis at all. It's the program with by far the best book choices for secular users (or really anyone) and the samples I've seen are excellent. I think it's what you want if you want to follow a program - of course you can still tweak and supplement and so forth - but it's a great choice for something that's just set and done.

BW is, like Alexsmom said, some wacky kool-aid you drink that makes you see writing instruction differently. No joke, that's not a bad description. ;) You're supposed to take a more relaxed, make them love language approach. To do this, you're supposed to implement a routine that works for you. It includes copywork, but also poetry teas, writing projects, freewriting time, oral narration... It's a hodgepodge of stuff. The Arrow is *only* the copywork/dictation portion with a little bit of lit analysis thrown in. But BW likes to use all the parts of the cow, so to speak. So this tiny bit of copywork once a week is used to teach grammar, mechanics, handwriting, good sentence structure, etc. all in a holistic way.

The two could definitely be paired. A lot of people have a more traditional program and then do some BW things - like poetry teas or freewriting - on the side. Other people do a whole BW approach using lots of BW products or almost no BW products at all and just read everything Julie writes on her blog and so forth.

09-02-2016, 10:12 PM
Okay, we have BYL now...it seems possible to implement the philosophy or kool-aide effect :) from BW and use it with the books we read for BYL. I think that's what I'm hearing. Right now DD is reading A Wrinkle in Time. I will look over the blog a bit more. Thanks!

09-02-2016, 11:22 PM
If you're already doing BYL, I definitely wouldn't do the Arrow (or, at that age, Boomerang - my kids are also on the cusp between the two). But you might download the free sample one and look at how she does it if you wanted to try and use dictation that way. But probably you just want to add the approach more than anything - freewrites, revision techniques, etc. that Julie suggests for honing good voice and raising happy writers. If you follow her on social media and watch her various Periscopes, she really lays most of it out for free, though The Writer's Jungle is a really good read if you like to read about teaching and so forth.

09-03-2016, 03:24 PM
I've done both and, yes, both draw on a Charlotte Mason approach. I love the lit selections in BYL, but, I think BW does a better job of explaining the detail and philosophy behind copywork, in particular. BYL just suggests a piece of copywork (which may be the right length for your child or may not). BW recommends actually reviewing the copywork with your child first and, I would argue, selecting specifically to practice certain elements of writing. I sometimes use it *just* for handwriting practice, but I think it can be so much more.

BYL does suggest activities and questions to go along with the reading. A CM approach is that children should form their own connections about the material they're exposed to, so it shouldn't be a 'model answer' type exercise, although I know that does make life a lot easier! BW doesn't provide so much (at least at the level I'm aware of) in terms of explicit literature appreciation/comprehension (it's more embodied within the overall approach). We are working our way through the Quiver and BYL 3/4 grade. We did about 1/2 the Quivers last school year (because we read literature faster than BYL assumes as we also do read alouds at weekends).

Not sure if that helps add anything!